A trip to the Israel/Lebanon border in search of the habitat of Iris lorteti found us in quite a cool Mediterranean climate at 1200m in altitude . We didn’t find iris but we did find plenty of other wonderful wild-flowers!
Right on the border with Lebanon.
That’s Lebanon over there!
There where lots of familiar plants around, particularly the Wild hollyhock, Alcea setosa. Thats Lebanon in the background.
Echinops adenocaulos was another familiar species
Wild carrots, Daucus carota, the wild relative of that mainstay of the British diet
Convolvulus dorycnium stood out like a saw thumb amongst the dry grasses. its completely unlike any other bindweed i have ever seen.
A real cottage garden favorite – Moluccella laevis
Capparis spinosa the pickled buds of which we eat as Capers.
We soon realised it was onion flowering season in the Eastern Mediterranean when we saw lots of this wonderful Allium phanerantherum
We also spotted this white form of Allium ampeloprasum
We found Allium stamineum growing in small holes in the limestone rocks.
The little Alliums shared their rocky home with Rosularia
Acanthus syriacus stood out as the thorniest plant in the incredibly spiny vegetation
the acanthus was however beaten on the spikey stakes by Gundelia tournefortii
I wish I knew what this sharp character is!
an absolutely delightful Dianthus strictus. A delicate flower finding protection in the thorns
Iris lorteti habitat
The nearest we came to finding Iris – a few dried sticks. It was always going to be a long-shot!
Often the best places for wildlife to flourish are those places where humanity has made it impossible for itself to flourish!
To be continued…….